Early-May 1933 tornado outbreak sequence

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The Early-May 1933 tornado outbreak sequence[nb 1][nb 2] was a severe weather event that occurred from May 4–10, 1933, and produced at least 27 tornadoes. Among them was the Beatty Swamps tornado, a violent F4 that struck shortly after midnight CST on May 11, 1933, in Overton County, Tennessee, killing 35 people and devastating the unincorporated community of Beatty Swamps (also known as Bethsaida). The storm was the second-deadliest tornado in the history of Middle Tennessee, even though it struck a sparsely-populated, rural area.[2] There were $100,000 in damages from the tornado ($1.5 million in 2005 when adjusted for inflation). The community of Beatty Swamps ceased to exist and does not appear on any current maps. The only landmark that alludes to the former community is Beatty Swamp Road, whichs intersects Highway 111 in the northeast corner of Overton County.

Tornado table[edit]

Confirmed tornadoes by Fujita rating
F0 F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 Total
 ?  ? 16 8 3 0 ≥ 27

May 4[edit]

May 4, 1933
F#
Location
County
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
Arkansas
F2 N of Calico Rock Izard 2100 6 miles (9.7 km) Two barns were destroyed.
Louisiana
F2 S of Monroe Ouachita 2300 unknown A tornado destroyed a plantation home and six tenant homes near Bosco.
F3 E of Tallulah Madison 0030 10 miles (16 km) 1 death — A tornado destroyed both large and small homes as it passed 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Tallulah.[3]
Mississippi
F2 SE of Valley Park Issaquena, Sharkey 0200 5 miles (8.0 km) Four homes and a church were destroyed.
Sources: Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850–851

May 5[edit]

May 5, 1933
F#
Location
County
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
Alabama
F3 NW of Pennington to Demopolis Choctaw, Sumter, Marengo 0620 35 miles (56 km) 4 deaths — 50 homes were destroyed, three people killed, and 200 people left homeless as a tornado hit Demopolis. One other death occurred near Edna in Choctaw County.
F4 S of Brent to N of Pelham Bibb, Shelby 0830 35 miles (56 km) 21 deaths — Homes were leveled near Brent, southeast of Centreville, and near Coalmont. 14 people died and 150 were injured as the tornado destroyed most of Helena.
South Carolina
F3 N of Anderson to SE of Fountain Inn Anderson, Greenville, Laurens 1930 45 miles (72 km) 19 deaths — 11 deaths occurred in frail homes in Belton. Four more deaths were in Greenville County and one more near Barksdale. Losses were at least $300,000, mainly to mills near Belton.
Sources: Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850–851

May 6[edit]

May 6, 1933
F#
Location
County
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
Mississippi
F2 W of Starkville Oktibbeha 0730 unknown One home was destroyed.
F2 Southern Lee County Lee 0730 unknown Three small homes were destroyed.
Sources: Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850–851

May 7 event[edit]

May 7, 1933
F#
Location
County
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
Iowa
F2 N of Somers to N of Barnum Calhoun, Webster unknown 12 miles (19 km) A tornado destroyed two barns along its path.
F2 S of Remsen to SE of Alton Plymouth, Sioux 1945 12 miles (19 km) A tornado hit farms, destroying barns on three of them and doing lesser damage to other farms.
F2 W of Barnum Webster 2200 unknown A barn built upon cement blocks was destroyed.
F2 N of Bondurant to Maxwell area Polk, Story 2200 12 miles (19 km) A tornado destroyed two barns. One farm reportedly was hit for the third time in its history.
F2 Eagle Grove area Wright 2230 2 miles (3.2 km) A tornado destroyed "a barn, a machine shed, and a brooder house."[3]
F2 E of Fort Dodge Webster unknown unknown One barn was destroyed.
Arkansas
F2 NE of Searcy White 2130 unknown A short-lived tornado destroyed barns.
F2 N of Harrisburg to Trumann area Poinsett 2200 16 miles (26 km) A tornado destroyed nine homes and a school in the Shady Grove community.
Tennessee
F3 S of Atoka to SE of Covington Tipton 2345 15 miles (24 km) 6 deaths — Roughly 30 homes and 75 farm structures were reported damaged or destroyed. Four deaths occurred in a single home near Charleston. Two more deaths were in another home south of Covington.
Sources: Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850–851

May 9 event[edit]

May 9, 1933
F#
Location
County
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
Indiana
F2 SW of Tipton Tipton 0900 1 mile (1.6 km) A large barn was destroyed.
F2 Lapel to Anderson area Madison 0930 4 miles (6.4 km) A tornado caused $40,000 roof and rain-related damage.
F3 S of Versailles Ripley 2215 7 miles (11 km) Four homes and many barns were destroyed.
F3 SE of Dillsboro Ohio 2240 5 miles (8.0 km) Three homes were destroyed, one of which had seven rooms and was nearly leveled. The tornado hit near Woods Ridge and South Fork.
Illinois
F3 N of Dale to SW of Norris City Hamilton, White 0000 8 miles (13 km) 2 deaths — A "huge"[3] tornado left only one wall standing on a homesite and killed two children east of Dale. It also destroyed other homes.
Kentucky
F4 SW of Tompkinsville to NE of Russell Springs Monroe, Cumberland, Adair, Russell 0230 60 miles (97 km) 36 deaths — A major tornado family killed 18 people and destroyed 60 homes in Tompkinsville. It may have lifted in Cumberland County before reforming in Adair County. 14 more people died near Russell Springs as the tornado was said to be 1 mile (1.6 km) wide. It was the third-deadliest Kentucky tornado on record following one in 1917 (65 deaths) and another in 1890 (76 deaths). The 1974 Brandenburg tornado (28 deaths in-state) was the fourth deadliest.
F2 Columbia area Metcalfe, Adair 0230 15 miles (24 km) 2 deaths — Five homes were destroyed and 12 others damaged in Columbia.
Tennessee
F3 N of Lebanon Wilson 0430 5 miles (8.0 km) 2 deaths — Three homes were leveled and "swept away"[3] with two people killed. Their bodies were moved 300 yd (900 ft). Other residents survived in underground storm shelters that had been built after tornadoes on March 14.
Sources: Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850–851

May 10[edit]

May 10, 1933
F#
Location
County
Time (UTC)
Path length
Comments/Damage
Tennessee
F4 N of Livingston to S of Byrdstown Overton, Pickett 0615 20 miles (32 km) 35 deaths — Every home in Beatty Swamps was destroyed with little debris left. 33 of the deaths occurred there, including an entire family of nine.[4] "Much of the area was swept clean of debris,"[3] a reaper-binder was thrown 500 yards (1,500 ft), and cars were moved hundreds of feet.[4] Another violent tornado did not hit the area until April 3, 1974.
Sources: Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850–851

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schneider, Russell S.; Harold E. Brooks; Joseph T. Schaefer. "Tornado Outbreak Day Sequences: Historic Events and Climatology (1875-2003)". Norman, Oklahoma: Storm Prediction Center. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  2. ^ Rose, Mark A. (December 2010). "Assorted Historical Weather Events in Middle Tennessee". National Weather Service. Retrieved 19 December 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Grazulis, Significant, pp. 850-851
  4. ^ a b Neal, Samuel K. "20 Dead, Many Hurt in Overton Tornado". Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Grazulis, Thomas P. (1993). Significant Tornadoes 1680-1991: A Chronology and Analysis of Events. Environmental Films. ISBN 1-879362-03-1. 
  • — (2003). The Tornado: Nature’s Ultimate Windstorm. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 978-0-8061-3538-0. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ An outbreak is generally defined as a group of at least six tornadoes (the number sometimes varies slightly according to local climatology) with no more than a six-hour gap between individual tornadoes. An outbreak sequence, prior to (after) modern records that began in 1950, is defined as, at most, two (one) consecutive days without at least one significant (F2 or stronger) tornado.[1]
  2. ^ All damage totals are in 1933 United States dollars unless otherwise noted.

External links[edit]